For about as long as I can remember, I've been an anxious person. I used to think it was nothing, something simple like being disappointed in myself if I didn't show up to an event at the same time as everyone else. As I've grown, I've begun to realize it's much bigger than that. The past few years of my life I've begun to see my anxiety for what it really is. It's something I can't particularly control, although there are things I can avoid to keep it from growing. However, sometimes it's strong enough to push its way past the walls I've built to keep it out. When that happens, there's not much I can do, so I have to remind myself: it'll pass.
Conversations like this make me anxious:
Conversations like this tell me you understand me:
I get anxieties about small and simple things: like making small talk with diner waitresses or not knowing where to park when visiting a friend's house for the first time. I also get anxiety about the big things: like being buried inside of a box for all of eternity.
I overthink, and the anxiety propels it. I'll overthink about minute and useless things: like how my black shorts are a different shade of black than the frames of my glasses. I'll harp unnecessarily on the giant things too: what if this is all just a dream?
It'll happen at odd, unexpected times: like watching The Hunger Games with your best friend in a crowded movie theater.
It happens constantly: like fearing I'm not good enough for any of you.
To be honest, the majority of my anxieties are very simple, and I know this. But yet I can't control them, despite how many people try to tell me to "just get over it." Recently, I've begun to realize that it's actually okay to talk about my anxiety with people; something I once was very afraid of. And when I began to share with a few of you, you made me think of my anxiety like the weather. It may be foggy and overcast today, but the sun can soon shine again. Now, it's a little less scary to talk about it, though the thought of putting this all out here in the open for you is making me quite apprehensive. But the research supports it: I am not alone.
Talking about it helps. When I began sharing with some of you, you started to truly see me and actually understand me better. Those of you that have spent time with me have learned to understand my "quirks." Some of you know that sometimes I need to be pushed to be better, and other times, I just need to know I'm not alone. For your understanding, I'm more appreciative than I could ever express.
I don't want to let my anxiety hold me back. I wish my anxiety would cease long enough for me to be brave. I don't want my anxiety to push people away. When I told you my anxieties, you didn't try to hurry it away or ignore it. You hunkered down with me until the fog dissipated. You waited with me while it passed.